Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mutuals, Cooperatives - Future for Councils or not?

Communities and Local Government select committee have called an inquiry into 'cooperative' council models.

The inquiry will look at the framework and operation of "not for profit businesses owned and controlled, in full or part, by people who work for them to provide local services that local authorities traditionally provide".

The committee has requested evidence before 11 May on advantages and disadvantages of service provision via a not-for-profit model and whether service users would experience any differences as a result of such a model.

Ironically the Trade Unions have been asking the same question with additional emphasis on the employee and what does it mean for the workforce.

The committee are set to look at the barriers to mutuals and other not-for-profit businesses. APSE have already produced a report, which I have highlighted the key points called 'Proof of delivery' which can be purchased via the link below.  

  • Uses systematic review methodolology to identify and analyse all the available evidence about the potential benefits or otherwise of co-ops and mutual in the delivery of core public services.

  • Identifies the three key conditions of success that need to be in place if co-ops and mutual are to contribute to effective public service delivery.

  • Takes an evidence based approach to setting out what co-operative and mutual forms of service delivery mean for the future of local public services.
  • Calls for a proper debate on how and whether co-ops and mutual can contribute to improving local public services and what their role should be – if any.

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